National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years

Runs: 2:03

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday today, August 25, 2016.  Now through August 28th, admission is free to all NPS parks, monuments and memorials. David Bocanegra is the National Park Service Supervisor at Desoto National Memorial in Bradenton, Florida where we visited today.

Special Election 004Old Faithful 001

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service.  As part of the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service is responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments and future ones to be established. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is America’s first national park.

To find a national park near you, visit

Travel time from Tampa to park is 1 hour 15 minutes.

Directions from Tampa to De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton, Florida:

  1. Take 275 south to St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
  2. Sunshine Skyway Bridge toll is $1.25.
  3. Cross scenic Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Exit 5.
  4. Take Exit 5 and follow US-19.
  5. On US-19, go right toward Palmetto Bradenton.
  6. Turn west/right  onto State Road 64 (Manatee Avenue West).
  7. On Manatee Avenue West, go about 5 miles to 75th Street West.
  8. Turn right/north at 75th Street West.
  9. Go 2-3 miles on 75th Street West the end to the Desoto National Memorial Park entrance.
  10. Parking is free. The park has a visitors center, trails, benches and a few picnic tables at the entrance. Bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy lunch with family and friends.
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